Monday, December 14, 2009

Guilt

I'm not even sure where to begin with this post. So many thoughts are whirling away in my head and I'm not sure how to get them all out in one piece.

The guilt that goes along with parenting is at times debilitating. I struggle so much as a mom. I want my kids to have a 'perfect' childhood and I always seem to fall short on that order.

As you know I have 3 kids, 3 and under. People always say "wow" when I tell them that and then look at me as if I am amazing because of it. But what they don't see is that every fiber of me is cracked.

I'm guilty because I have to work. I'm guilty because I get frustrated when the twins act up...which at their age is almost always. I'm guilty because when I get to work from home, I don't have them with me and that I choose to send them to daycare and not home with me because I need a break. I feel guilty and awful for even having admitted that.

There are parents all around this world that would do anything to have their child around them bugging them and I, at times, send them to daycare.

My soul is in turmoil. I love my kids more than I could even express and only God knows how much they mean to me.

I struggle daily that I am not the parent that I thought I would be. I wish I had the patience to be the mom I always envisioned I was. I am sorely falling short of how I would be as a mom.

Everything is always rushed and no time to sit and smell the roses. We rush to get up and get out of the house. Then we rush when we get home to get dinner on the table. To get baths done. To get some type of quality time in before they go to bed. And that quality time, is usually filled with many timeouts and frustrated moments.

As silly as it sounds, I truly believe that I should have been a mother in the 50's. I truly dream of staying home with my babies and making our house a home. Ever since I was a little kid, all I ever wanted to do was be a mom and my dream has come true. But I feel that I am soo bad at this mom thing.

I am in awe of others that I see that appear to be handling motherhood so much better than I. And I wonder, how do they do it? They are working full-time and yet seem completely together and calm.

I know this post sounds very choppy and I apologize for that. But that is how it all is sounding in my head. Many, many questions and not enough answers.

I just want my kids to look back on their childhood and know that mommy loved them more than anything and that they look back with happy memories.

My children are my everything and I just don't want to fail them.

3 comments:

Amy O'Connor said...

No need to feel guilty. Your love your kids and do what you do for them. Sometimes that means doing something (for your self) without them. Even stay at home moms will feel that they aren't spending enough quality time with their kids. I hope you get out of your slump and feel better about what a great mom you are.

PS: I also dream of being a mom in the 50's!

anne said...

Aww sweet girl,
I hear your struggle but I am betting every parent in the world feels just like this. I know how much you love those kids and they know it too.
Today is my mom's birthday - she's been gone a little over 14 years and her deep unconditional love for me feels as real and as present as it did when she was here.

Here’s a little story
My mother gave birth to me – her 5th and final child when she was 32. After I was born it was inescapable – my Mother needed to go work because there were just too many birds in the nest. She had a woman come to the house every day to take care of me and my siblings. She worked her way up the corporate ladder from file clerk to VP of International Marketing – the position she held when she got sick.
My father also worked away from home, much like Bill does, home for weekends and extended holidays. My Mother was left to raise 5 kids essentially be herself and work a full time job, commute and travel internationally.
She was never the mom that baked cookies and have a snack for me when I walked in the door after school. She bought cupcakes for the bake sale instead of baking them herself. The house was always a little cluttered – clean but a little cluttered. The sheets on our bed were mismatched. The dishes were mismatched and I had no idea what a hand towel was until I moved out on my own. She was no Martha Stewart.
But I have no feelings or memories of lack in my life, I was surrounded by love and chaos. We were poor but I always felt like we had so much more than everyone else. She taught me about charity and compassion. She showed me how to be a modern woman and work in the world while raising a family. She always had time to listen to me. She may not have been there after school but every time I was sick she made me cinnamon toast cut on the diagonal and a cup of tea. She called me ‘sweet baby’ and loved me with enough love to move a mountain.

Did we fight - YES! Did she exasperate me – YES! Did I wish she would just LEAVE ME ALONE – absolutely – especially from 14 to 17 years old. But I watched that woman work so hard to be all the things YOU wish you were right now. But it’s not important that she didn’t reach those ‘perfect mother’ goals…it’s important that she tried. That is what I think of when I think of my mom – how hard she tried to make to make our life beautiful, better, safe, to show us she loved us. Some may question her methods but NEVER her motives.

You are the same Jenn, you work so hard to make everyone happy and fill your children with love and wonder. You don’t even realize that the prefect mother is the one who posts pictures of her daughters tooth brushing abilities as if she had just won a gold medal!! You are doing it Jenn…you are succeeding, this is life right now, tears and tantrums and timeouts and the child like way you attack Christmas and the nights of hand holding in the hospital and the unfathomably deep love you have for their father.

I have no worries about you and your family – your kids are so loved. A stressed out mom is worse than a working mom. Give yourself a break and relax enough so that you are actually present – of mind and body.

I am so proud to have you as my friend!!

HT said...

I real this and hear the turmoil in your "voice". Let me just reassure you that your children do not want to spend 24/7 with you. It is good for them to socialize and be around other children. I know it is not ideal, but daycare is not 'bad for them'.

Try to stop and smell the roses my friend! Your children are going to remember the moments in which you slowed down to explain something to them or sat down and shared an apple with them. All this running around makes for some good memories but may not be memorable.

3 kids under 3 is hard. Don't feel guilty for admitting it.

I love you.